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We have reviewed other wine aerators before, so when we had the chance to review the TRIbella aerator, we gladly accepted the challenge. The TRIbella is a little different from other aerators as it just looks different (and cool) while being poured.
I won’t go into why aeration is sometimes necessary as you can read my Aervana wine aerator review post where I described that. But basically the concept is to mix air and wine together to open up the wine that in turn will enhance the flavors of the wine. You can use a decanter or other vessel to allow air to get to the wine and wait, or simply use an aerator to make the process faster.
Inventor Skip Lei said, “My goal in creating the TRIbella was to attempt to ‘complete the circuit of beauty’ from the bottle to the glass. By separating the wine into three perfect streams, it allows the exiting wine to naturally catch a breath of air as it gracefully falls into your glass. Wine is beautiful, a wine glass is beautiful, so why can’t the pour and the active aeration be beautiful as well?”
Opening the TRIbella box reveals a case, much like an eye glass case, that protects the TRIbella and allows you to carry it around easily. The TRIbella was very compact and is designed to be inserted in the neck of a wine bottle. The instructions said that it works on over 95% of wine bottles, but some southern European bottles have irregular neck dimensions which can cause a poor seal, plus some screw cap wine openings are too big causing the aerator’s vent to be covered. The TRIbella has three stainless steel spouts along with a polycarbonate base and another stainless steel tube which is inserted into the bottle. You can tell from just feeling and looking at the TRIbella that it is a quality made product.
On to its use, we first chose a 2012 Texas Tempranillo which we thought might need aerating. To be a real test, we also used two other in the bottle aerators to compare the TRIbella against. We poured a glass of wine to use as a control sample and then other glasses using the three aerators: TRIbella, VinOair wine aerator, and the electric Aervana aerator. We did not taste much of a difference between the control sample and the aerators, so the wine apparently did not need decanting/aeration. We tasted quite a few times to make sure, so to not affect the test any further, we decided to wait until the next day with a different wine and let our palates rest.
The next day we tried a 2009 Sonoma Syrah with the same test procedures. This time we could tell the difference from the control sample but it was not major. This was tougher than we thought! We didn’t taste as much this time, so I had to find another wine which definitely needing decanting. Fortunately, we belong to a wine club and in their wine club shipments, they provide a little brochure with information on the wines and for the red wines will indicate if they recommend decanting it. After going through the brochures (always save your wine club brochures!), I found a 2012 GSM the winery recommended to decant.
Back to the test with the GSM, and from the first comparison of an aerator with the control sample, there definitely was a difference. Whew! After using the three aerators, it was difficult to compare the difference between the three aerators, and since we have had good luck with the VinOair and Aervana, the TRIbella definitely passed the test.
One thing I really do not like when pouring red wine is dripping. Sure, after pouring you usually have to twist the bottle to avoid drips, or just wipe off the neck with a towel after pouring. But with the TRIbella, those concerns are gone as there is no dripping or spills. Another nice thing about the TRIbella is how compact the top of it sits to the neck of the bottle. A lot of aerators give off that gurgling air noise while pouring, but the TRIbella does not. I can’t go into the science of why it does not because I do not know, but it was nice having a little silence while pouring.
I learned a couple tips while watching the videos on the TRIbella website. One was to start pouring low to the glass just above the rim, and then slowly raise the bottle up higher and then back down. This results in even greater aeration and really looks nice. I did say it looked cool while pouring, didn’t I? Another tip is to be sure to keep the vent of the aerator facing up and away from the glass while pouring.
The price for a TRIbella is $40 and you can purchase it easily on Amazon. Will we use it again? Definitely, especially if we want to impress guests while pouring so they can see that beautiful pour.
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